The Highways Agency are responsible for the motorway and road network sstem of England.
The Highways Agency is responsible for maintaining and also improving the road network system and motorways of England. The agency is based with in the Department of Transport, and was set up in 1994, and its strategic aims are ‘safe roads, reliable journeys and informed travellers’
The agency also issues real time national and local traffic news on roadworks, as well as motorway traffic congestion updates, all in partnership with other road service providers.
Their aim is to keep the traffic flowing on the main roads around the country, this obviously helps to improve and speed up journey times. Other key objectives are to improve road safety for motorists, and to try to ensure the minimum amount of damage to the environment from say new road projects being built. As you can see the work the agency does can have a direct impact on the lives of the public and also businesses and commerce industry. For instance they are there to advice the government of issues like road widening schemes that can affect haulage companies and lorry drivers.
There are many different Highways Agency jobs and career opportunities that job seekers can apply for.
It’s National Traffic Control Centre [NTCC] is based in Birmingham West Midlands, from where it manages the traffic and tries to reduce congestion of the strategic road network in England. From this 160 million pound centre the NTCC aims to provide live traffic reports to drivers on road traffic accidents and traffic jams, and also assists in setting up diversions for road users. It does this by monitoring traffic detectors as well as data from CCTV cameras and then analyses this information. It then provides this road news travel data to the media Local Highway Authorities [LHA] and the police.
Where they work closely with traffic police departments across the country as well as local councils. They work with local authorities to maintain the A road [also known as carriageways or trunk roads], and to ensure as little disruption to people living near them, for instance from noise pollution. They assist the police in investigating a fatal or serious injury RTA, and help to reopen roads.
The HA install and are in charge of speed cameras, and in support of the motorway police help enforce speed limits. They also arrange for lane closures and the laying of cones to ensure the safety of any maintenance workers doing repairs like resurfacing. It is important that any repair work is not carried out during holiday periods or say during bank holidays, unless of course it is essential.
Types of highways agency jobs and vacancies available:
Highways Agency Traffic Officers [also known as HATOs] are highly trained operational traffic officers detailed with traffic watch management and patrolling / covering the motorway network in partnership with Local Highway Authorities and the emergency services.
As with most emergency service roles this is a physically demanding job, where you will be out in all weather conditions, for instance dealing with a breakdown when it is snowing. You must be able to project authority when dealing with the public, as well as remain cool under stress full conditions. Due to the nature of the job you will be required to work shift covering 24 hours. The traffic officers assist the motorway police with traffic management at motorway accidents, they help with the removal of broken down vehicles from the hard shoulder, lane closures as well as clearing debris from the motorways. You will also have to deal with motorist who commit a traffic violation, for instance because of speeding.
They usually drive 4x4 vehicles that are highly visible, usually in bright yellow Battenburg markings and stripes.
The basic starting salary of a highways agency traffic officer including shift allowance is £21,534.